EAT THIS CITY is your weekly tour of the best restaurants in one of our favorite cities, as chosen by top chefs. This week, we cross the seas to the land down undah! Sydney, Australia!
If you’ve ever traveled anywhere, you’ve probably found yourself alongside a dozen backpacking Australians. A year gap on an Australian’s resume isn’t frowned upon — in fact, it’s encouraged. How cool is that? And think about the fact that Australia is an island and a continent, meaning you must get on a plane (or a boat) to leave. This speaks to the adventurous and intrepid spirit of its inhabitants. But even within its confines, there is a melting pot of culture. Land of the kangaroo, meat pies, Vegemite, Ugg boots, AC/DC, the Great Barrier Reef, the wild outback, didgeridoos, and shrimps on the barbie. Right? But wait! There’s more!
Meet Chef Lennox Hastie. He’s a traveler himself, who landed in Australia instead of starting there. He’s from London, but half Australian by blood, and traveled through France, Germany, and Spain to study his craft. He says that the key for a chef is to travel and master new techniques at each landing. It was in San Sebastian that Hastie fell in love with the grill and cooking with fire, which led him to open Firedoor when he moved to Sydney.
The restaurant — which has gained wide acclaim in a short time — has no gas line. Everything is cooked over coals. UPROXX Life Editor, Steve Bramucci, recently visited the restaurant and claims that Hastie made him the best steak he’s ever had. (And the dude eats a lot of steaks.)
Chef Hastie says that Australia doesn’t have an extended history in terms of cuisine. It’s a mishmash of wide-ranging influences and there are a lot of flavors in the melting pot. You’ll see these eclectic offerings all on display in the chef’s answers — so let’s dive in!